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November 1995

Evaluations of Children Who Have Disclosed Sexual Abuse via Facilitated Communication-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics State University of New York Health Science Center 750 E Adams St Syracuse, NY 13210

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(11):1289. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170240105031

I appreciate the interest of Dr Wharton and colleagues and welcome the opportunity to reply. The debate over the validity of FC has overshadowed sexual abuse issues in developmentally disabled children. In the dispute over FC, issues inherent in sexual abuse allegations such as false allegations, reliance on clear disclosures, and lack of physical evidence are often confused and misunderstood.

The article described 13 cases where children disclosed sexual abuse via FC; evidence of abuse was documented in four.1 We clearly stated that our "results neither support nor refute validation of FC" and concur with Dr Wharton and colleagues that facilitators have the opportunity to observe "questionable behavior" in perpetrators as well as signs of "suspicious behavior" in suspected victims. The point of our study, however, was not to debate the validity of FC, but to present objective results of sexual abuse evaluations in children who were

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